Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) The Ethical Ecologist

man sitting over looking cliff

About Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) The Ethical Ecologist

Aldo Leopold is widely considered to be the founder of wildlife management and his efforts helped open the field of environmental ethics. Leopold was born in 1887, and raised in Burlington, Iowa. After graduating from the Yale Forest School in 1909, he joined the recently created U.S. Forest Service as a ranger in the American Southwest. In 1924, during his period with the Service, Leopold was instrumental in creating the Gila National Forest wilderness, the first official wilderness area wilderness area
Wilderness areas are places untamed by humans. The Wilderness Act of 1964 allows Congress to designate wilderness areas for protection to ensure that America's pristine wild lands will not disappear. Wilderness areas can be part of national wildlife refuges, national parks, national forests or public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Learn more about wilderness area
. That same year, Leopold moved to Wisconsin and began teaching at the University of Wisconsin. He went on to publish “Game Management,” the first textbook in the field of wildlife management, in 1933. During his time in Wisconsin, Leopold began an experiment of sorts in nature, restoring a dilapidated farmstead located in the “sand counties,” an area known for its sandy soils, to a flourishing forest. The result of this experiment was his groundbreaking book A Sand County Almanac (1949), which presented a new “land ethic” for humans to live harmoniously in nature. The book was published posthumously as Leopold died of a heart attack while fighting a wildfire on neighboring property on April 21, 1948.